Bigger, better, more cauliflowers
Unfolded’s not quite a remake, but nor is it a sequel, and that’s far from the only unconventional thing about Tearaway’s translation to PS4. Media Molecule certainly has a few unusual ideas about how to use all the extra horsepower the console offers over Vita. “We’ve got a few levels that have infinite cauliflowers being chucked around,” says creative lead Rex Crowle, before explaining how the vegetable has fallen out of favour. “They’re hard to buy these days,” he says sadly. “We’re trying to bring them back.”
That’s entirely in keeping with Tearaway’s plucky underdog spirit. Adored by critics but widely overlooked, this inventive papercraft platformer was an ode to the unfashionable, as much a love letter to its host hardware as to the material its world was built from. It’s strange, then, to see it being brought to another platform, particularly when Crowle admits “we really wanted it to feel almost like Tearaway had always been inside of the Vita, and somehow it was just revealed to you when the game launched”. Unfolded came to be after Media Molecule saw its game on the biggest of big screens on Sony’s stage at E3. The boldness of the art held up, and the subtle details and environmental animations were easier to discern across a larger canvas. So the studio knew that visually Tearaway would shine on a TV screen, but how would the game itself – and, perhaps more pertinently, its control scheme – translate?
Rather than remapping features, Crowle was keen to take a fresh approach. At first, he invited his team to treat DualShock 4 not as a videogame controller, but as an alien artefact. “Imagine you just found it and [were] trying
will give its players more room to take in their environment, though Crowle is keen to avoid reusing chunks of levels to increase the game’s runtime. “We’re trying to let each section introduce itself a little bit more, so you feel like you’re travelling across this world rather than just jumping from one intense section to the next”